"Iran’s choice of target is significant. If it wanted to kill lots of American soldiers in Iraq there were easier bases to strike.
I’ve been to al-Asad airbase – it’s vast and it’s remote. Strikes there could find plenty of dead ground away from troop bunkers and would have little risk of civilian collateral killings.
Iraqi military commanders had been warned by Iran to stay away from US bases and US officials confirm their troops, too, had adequate warning to shelter from the attack.
Iran is trying to have its cake and eat it. Create the impression of a fearsome strike for domestic consumption without actually risking escalation.
An Arab diplomatic source told CNN that Iraq gave advance warning to the United States on “which bases would be hit” after Iranian officials passed on the information. "